Alex Klein & Phillip Bush – Twentieth Century Oboe Sonatas (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:19:11 minutes | 1,31 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Cedille
Grammy Award-winner Alex Klein, former principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performs sonatas that signify the oboe’s 20th-century reemergence as a brilliant solo instrument. One of the world’s most famous oboe players, Klein says he waited to acquire a professional lifetime’s worth of experience before putting his stamp on the six sonatas heard here.
With pianist Phillip Bush, Klein plays works that he says “define the modern oboe”: Camille Saint-Saëns’ jovial, late-Romantic Sonata for Oboe and Piano, Op. 166; York Bowen’s lushly beautiful Sonata for Oboe and Pianoforte, Op. 85; Henri Dutilleux’s emotionally wide-ranging Sonata for Oboe and Piano; Petr Eben’s youthful, inventive Oboe Sonata, Op.1; Francis Poulenc’s late, philosophical Sonata for Oboe and Piano, FP 185; and Eugène Bozza’s Sonata for Oboe and Piano, an ethereal, rarely heard tour de force.
Klein possesses a “tone so unique and beautiful that musicians from around the globe would flock to [Chicago’s] Symphony Center to hear him play” (Chicago Magazine). He won a Grammy Award in 2002 for Best Instrumental Solo Performance (with Orchestra) for his recording of Richard Strauss’s oboe concerto with conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Teldec).His Cedille Records discography includes Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, and contemporary oboe works. Gramophone’s review of Klein’s Vivaldi Oboe Concertos album proclaimed, “it’s possible to listen to this recording repeatedly and rarely take your ears away from Klein, who dispenses melodies with musical charm and technical requirements with effortless grace.”
Notes by Alex Klein: This is an album I’ve wanted to do all life: to go on the record (so to speak) with the pieces that are the meat and potatoes of oboe playing, plus a few more that are personally important to me. It is a pleasure and an honor to make such a musical statement. They are all part of my personal history of oboe playing, a history where I now have more years behind than in front. I find myself in the Eben, which is part of my youth. And like Poulenc when he wrote his Sonata, I too am facing mortality. The Saint-Saëns and the Poulenc are really the core of the oboe recital repertoire, but I’m also really in love with the other pieces here. The Bozza is wild and free and engaging. It runs from an incredible depth of musicality to torrid technical display. The Dutilleux is some of the most driven and energetic music that’s been written for the instrument. And the Bowen is such a delight; all three movements are right up there with best music an oboe player can play.
I have a certain nostalgia besides the one caused by age: focal dystonia brought a significant burden to my life and led me to rebuild my playing. Still, I don’t know how long I have left to play oboe. This recording has more to do with closing than anticipating ambitious projects for the future. This may well be one of my last oboe statements.
01. Oboe Sonata, Op. 85: I. Allegretto grazioso
02. Oboe Sonata, Op. 85: II. Andantino espressivo
03. Oboe Sonata, Op. 85: III. Finale. Allegro giocoso
04. Oboe Sonata, Op. 1: I. Militare. Allegro risoluto
05. Oboe Sonata, Op. 1: II. Pastorale. Andante cantabile
06. Oboe Sonata, Op. 1: III. Ballabile. Presto
07. Oboe Sonata: I. Aria. Grave
08. Oboe Sonata: II. Scherzo. Vif
09. Oboe Sonata: III. Final. Assez allant
10. Oboe Sonata: I. Très calme
11. Oboe Sonata: II. Vif
12. Oboe Sonata: III. Extrêmement tendre, expressif
13. Oboe Sonata: IV. Animé
14. Oboe Sonata, FP 185: I. Elégie
15. Oboe Sonata, FP 185: II. Scherzo
16. Oboe Sonata, FP 185: III. Déploration
17. Oboe Sonata, Op. 166: I. Andantino
18. Oboe Sonata, Op. 166: II. Ad libitum-Allegretto-Ad libitum
19. Oboe Sonata, Op. 166: III. Molto allegro
Alex Klein, oboe
Phillip Bush, piano